Federal Textile Minister Makhdoom Shehabuddin has said that the government will provide all out support to carpet industry with a view to enhance export.He was speaking at an opening ceremony of the three-day Carpet Exhibition organised by the Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers & Exporters Association here at Expo Centre on Sunday. Besides PCEMA Vice Chairman North Muhammad Saeed Khan, Exhibition chief coordinator Aslam Tahir, Association’s former chiefs, including Maj (r) Akhtar Nazir Cooki, Sheikh Khalid Saeed and Mian Javedur Rehman also spoke on the occasion.The federal minister said that the Carpet Exhibition is a step in right direction to promote trade and economy. He said that government has taken many business friendly initiatives to attract foreign investment. He said the government also offers lucrative investment opportunities for local investors.Pakistan has to make an extra effort in promoting exports by arranging trade fairs and exhibitions, he emphasised. He said the stability of our economy will help us to overcome many challenges facing our country particularly war against terrorism.World considers wrongly that insurgency is spreading across the country in Pakistan while fact is that it is limited to less than one per cent area of the land. He said Islam is a religion of peace and preaches the lesson of harmony. Responding to questions of media after his address, Makhdoom Shahab disclosed in a satirical way that he was intentionally caught in ephedrine case by his ‘well-wishers’ just to keep him out from prime ministership. To another question, the federal minister said that government is all along with the carpet industry and pursue the Chinese authorities to exempt the Pakistani handmade carpets from import duty, bringing it under zero-rated in China.He asked the Pakistani business community to take full advantage of the entry got in Chinese handmade carpet sector.“Instead of looking towards United States and European Union the Pakistani exporters should now focus on China to take trade relations to a new height by aggressively exploring opportunities for joint ventures in various sectors including hand-knotted carpets.”He said the economy of the country is growing at a fast pace and we need trade rather than aid for further stabilising our economy. Earlier, PCMEA Chairman Shahid Rasheed Malik observed that that Pakistan’s carpet export to Europe and China was declined by over 55 per cent which can be compensated by export to China, where this handmade product is in great demand. He said that Commerce as well as Textile Ministry and TDAP have also realised the importance of this point.Demanding special initiatives, he asked the government to finance the carpet industry to open warehouses and retail outlets abroad including China.PCMEA leaders including Akhtar Nazir Cooki, Sheikh Khalid Shaeed and Mian Javedur Rehman said, presently, China is the largest carpet buyer of Pakistan, as over 900,000 feet record size of handmade carpet was sold in a single Pakistani exhibition in China.We are struggling for the enhancement of Pakistani carpet export to China, they maintained. They stated that China, Dubai and Germany are the classic examples of well organised international trade fairs/centers, where businessmen from all over the world used to attend.In order to strengthen the efforts to promote Pakistan’s cultural heritage, the Government must allocate substantial amount from its annual development budget (PSDP) for promotion of carpet industry, they opined. They said that carpet exhibition could help put the economy on track because fairs were the key to exhibit the untapped potentials of Pakistan and to introduce Pakistan’s products in the world market.They said that the Carpet Show 2012 has become the largest showcase of Pakistan’s handmade carpets. The event is being visited by a large number of buyers from across the world while over 50 national manufacturers have also displayed their products in the exhibition.